However, Flacco said that he is fully healthy and the offense just needs to play more consistently. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2015 and had battled shoulder issues this year.
Flacco gave the Ravens another scare when he appeared to jam his surgically repaired left knee on an awkward slide in the third quarter. Flacco ran directly into the locker room and was able to return. A knee brace that he wears on his left knee had to be replaced.
"I saw the brace mangled beyond recognition," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I was just hoping the knee underneath it was fine, which it was. That's all that went through my mind - how is the knee? I even said to him, 'How is the knee?' when he was coming off. He kind of just didn't say anything; he just went to the locker room. I didn't feel great about that. Then, when he came back out, he was alright."
Flacco did not appear to be physically bothered by the new brace. However, the Ravens managed just one offensive touchdown against Pittsburgh. That helped keep the Steelers in the game until the final seconds.
Baltimore's offense will have to play better if it wants to stay atop the AFC North.
"We've cleaned a lot of that stuff up, but we still have a ways to go," Flacco said. "That's the beauty of football, especially in the NFL. It's a long season and you have the opportunity to improve. Our guys are willing to do that. I really do believe we have the pieces in all three phases to be very good, but we have to find a way to make it happen and keep trusting in one another, and that's it."
-- Baltimore's defense continues to be one of the bright spots of the team. Over the first three quarters against Pittsburgh, the Ravens held them scoreless with just two first downs. Baltimore also forced the Steelers to punt nine times.
After Sunday's games, Baltimore ranked third in the NFL in total defense and second against the run (609 yards).
"I think we're just going to keep putting our heads down and keep grinding," safety Eric Weddle said. "We're blue collar. We're really not worried about what the outside thinks, or wants, or appreciates, or thinks we're good or not. We know we have to play a full 16 games and then we can see where we're at. Where we're at as a team, we have to play great week-in and week-out to give ourselves a chance to win."